Date of Award

Winter 2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Educational Leadership

Second Advisor

Kimberly Kimbell-Lopez

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the characteristics of an effective teacher in a high-poverty school as perceived by high school administrators and the alignment of these characteristics with the teacher evaluation system. School administrators identified the characteristics of an effective teacher in a high-poverty school. The characteristics of an effective teacher in a high-poverty school were compared with the teacher evaluation tool, EDUCATEAlabama. The comparison of the characteristics of effective teachers in high-poverty school with EDUCATEAlabama revealed the attributes of an effective teacher in a high-poverty school did not align with the state evaluation tool, EDUCATEAlabama.

The following research questions guided this study:

1. What characteristics do administrators perceive as necessary to be an effective teacher for students of poverty? 2. Do the characteristics that administrators perceive as important to be an effective teacher in a high-poverty school align with the Alabama teacher evaluation system known as EDUCATEAlabama?

The researcher discovered, through interviews, that the attributes of an effective teacher in high-poverty could be coded into two overall themes of teacher responsibility and teacher personality . The major themes under teacher responsibility were comprised of (a) addressing cultural concerns and (b) teacher roles. The minor themes included (a) communication and (b) academic focus. The major theme under teacher personality was caring, and the minor themes were (a) engaging, (b) fearless, and (c) patient. Research on effective teachers undergirds all of the major themes and two of the minor themes with the following exceptions (a) research supported engagement as a major theme or component rather than a minor theme and (b) the minor themes of communication, fearless, and patient were not supported by literature. The attributes, mentioned above, were compared with EDUCATEAIabama; one hundred and nineteen of the one hundred and sixty-two subcategories of the evaluation tool, or 73.5%, did not align with the attributes of an effective teacher in a high-poverty school.

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